August 9, 2011

Swanson Speed Bevel - Review

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Swanson's new Speed Bevel
combines the talent of their ubiquitous Speed Square and the bevel gauge. Since our experience is that those are the two most used measuring devices on a site, we were pretty interested in seeing their talents combined into a single unit. Swanson sent us a sample and like always, we dropped it in the tool bag and brought it to work. It's been well over a month and here's the verdict....

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 13, 2011

Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool - Review

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Porter-Cable is now in the oscillating tool game and honestly it's a tool that wouldn't have interested us a whole lot except that it has a funky quick change feature that looks to solve one of the key hassles with oscillating tool, the blade change-out. PC sent us one to check out and we've been absolutely pounding on this thing at work, trying our best to break its spirit. Here's how it did...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2011

Torchmate 2x2 CNC Prototyping Machine - Review

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CNC Machines live in that mysterious world of the professional metal shop. You've got to be a pretty intense dude to have one of these things in your garage. What they are is automatic cutting systems that work through a computer program. Draw something in a CAD program, load it over to the CNC machine and it carves or cuts out the shape. These things are usually massive and some of them are even encased in a large chamber with a constant oil spray to lube up the cut.

So anyway, Torchmate, a well-respected name in the CNC world has recently released a smaller version of their popular machine. This new one, the 2x2 has a much smaller bed and is intended to be a user-friendly version of their larger machines, one that will hopefully appeal to the average Joe hobbyist. They were nice enough to send us one to play around with for a while and we happily agreed.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 1, 2011

Bostitch Box Beam Clamping Level - Review

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We're on the verge of renaming the site LevelSnob.com, given the sheer amount of levels we've covered in the past few months (and will be covering in the next few). The latest is Bostitch's Box Beam Clamping Level, which allows you to clamp the tool along a piece of wood, sort of like a magnetized level and a metal stud. Bostitch sent us a sample a couple months ago to check out and we've used it at home and on the site enough to draw some conclusions. Those conclusions are....(ahem)...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 29, 2011

Strap Sack - Review

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In our recent post on The Perfect Bungee, we noted our total devotion to the ratchet strap. There just isn't a better, more secure way to tie down your stuff. We've held down some pretty substantial lumber runs with a single ratchet strap.

The one drawback to the ratchet strap is storage. For a while we tossed them in a tupperware container under the front seat, but it always turned into a spaghetti mess and when we needed a strap, we always had to spend ten minutes trying to free the appropriate pieces. Then, we devised a way to fold and tie up each piece after use, but it takes some effort and most of the time it's not effort we're interested in. So here comes the Strap Sack...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 27, 2011

Checkpoint U6 V-Groove Multi Reading Level - Review

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Well this is kind of an oddball. We've never seen a level quite like it. It's the Checkpoint U6 and it's a U shaped item, about the size of a nice skipping stone that is capable of taking level readings on six different angles; 0, 90, 45, 22.5, 30, and 60. It has a v-groove all around it, as well as a series of magnets, so it's perfect for steel pipes and conduit.

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It's one of those tools that exudes the aroma of quality. Maybe it's the solid weight, maybe it's the look of precision machining, we're not sure, but whatever it is, just holding the tool justifies its $35 price tag.

It's a cool little item, but we don't have a whole lot more to say about it than that. Works as advertised...high quality...compact...there you go.

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It's probably not a tool for everyone, the general carpenter probably won't have much use for it, but if you do a lot of work with pipes and want a pocket-sized reference, this is the way to go.

Available in a variety of colors at Amazon

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2011

DeWalt DWS520K 6-1/2-Inch TrackSaw Kit - Review

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Our recent shelving project turned out to be a lot more involved than we originally anticipated. To do the work, we ended up setting up an entire shop in the room we were doing the work in. We moved in the miter saw (getting extra room because the saw was the Bosch Axial Glide!), set up a work table, built temp shelves for our tools and made hooks for extension cords. Pretty much everything we needed was in the room. Except for the table saw. It's a good sized room, but table saws are like pool tables...they may look like they're a manageable size, but in order to actually use one, you need an area that is about five times its size.

So the table saw was out in the driveway, rain or shine, and we would have to go through a door, down a hallway, through another door onto the porch, and then yet another door to the outside, walk down the path and then to the saw every time we wanted to make a cut. There has to be an easier way, we thought.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

June 16, 2011

Bosch 10" GTS1031 Compact Table Saw - Review

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Of all the bulky and awkward jobsite table saws, none is more bulky or more awkward than the full-sized Bosch model that comes attached to one of the most infuriating saw stands known to man. It's a fine item if you're just wheeling the saw around a driveway, but any relocation beyond that is pure agony due to the fact that the saw can't be detached from the large, wheeled stand. But since we feel a rant coming on (that saw is one of our true bete noires of the tool world), we'll divert to the matter at hand, which is Bosch's new compact table saw, a tool that is the apparent opposite of the sprawling, gargantuan full-sized model. A while ago, Bosch sent us one to check out and here's what we thought...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

June 15, 2011

Bora Multi-Angle - Review

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Bora Tools, a subset of Affinity has recently released something called the Multi-Angle. It's a measuring and marking device that accurately gives you a number of different angles. About a month ago, they sent us one to check out and it's been in the tool bag ever since. Here's what we thought...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 14, 2011

Blaklader Bantam Pants with Utility Pockets - Review

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For the past decade, I've been fully devoted to Carhartts. They're honestly all I wear. If it wasn't for my wedding day, right now I'd be logging in ten years of daily uninterrupted Carhartt wearing. But recently I've had some issues with the company and their pants (which I may post about in the near future) so I've had my ear to the ground for other workpants of note.

As if on cue, we were contacted by Blaklader, the manufacturer of some very interesting work clothing. They offered to send us a pair of their Bantam Work Pants, and intrigued by their unique designs, we happily agreed.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

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